MESA, Ariz. -- Every time the Indians have taken one step forward this spring, it seems as though they’ve had to take two steps back. And while they’ve received some positive updates on starters Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco over the last few days, another reliever has fallen on their
MESA, Ariz. -- Every time the Indians have taken one step forward this spring, it seems as though they’ve had to take two steps back. And while they’ve received some positive updates on starters Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco over the last few days, another reliever has fallen on their day-to-day list.
Prior to Saturday’s 8-7 loss to the A’s at Hohokam Park, Indians manager Terry Francona said that reliever Adam Cimber, who traveled to the team’s 8-6 split-squad loss in Las Vegas, hasn’t thrown since the first spring game last Sunday due to tightness in his side.
“Just don’t want to push guys,” Francona said. “With all these games, it’s been tough to find enough pitching, but we don’t want to run somebody out there and hurt them because we were trying to fill an inning in a Spring Training game. That’s why you’ve seen a lot of the Minor League kids coming over and you will continue to the next few days.”
Cimber joins a group of injured players at Indians camp, including Clevinger (partial meniscus tear), Carrasco (hip flexor strain), Aaron Civale (groin discomfort), Emmanuel Clase (upper back strain) and Tyler Naquin (ACL). But that list may be getting shorter in the near future.
Francona said Naquin is expected to sit down with the athletic training staff next week to determine his schedule for the remainder of camp. He underwent surgery on his ACL on Sept. 12 and has already progressed to on-field batting practice, full weight room activity and running straight ahead.
While Naquin continues to progress, Carrasco could return as soon as Tuesday against the Angels at Goodyear Ballpark, according to Francona. He threw live batting practice Friday and came into camp Saturday without any setbacks.
• Checking in on the Indians' potential rotation
Even though Clevinger was given a six- to eight-week timetable after his surgery to repair his meniscus on Feb. 14, the right-hander is hoping to join Carrasco back in the rotation as quickly as possible. Just two weeks after he had his procedure, the right-hander began his throwing program.
“As we’ve witnessed, Clev is never going to hold back and he seems to be a pretty good healer,” Francona said. “We’ve seen that last year. And he’s driven, so that’s always good to see somebody active because that’s a lot better than walking around on crutches.”
Civale and McKenzie throw simulated innings
Civale and Triston McKenzie were expected to throw in a simulated game Saturday morning at the Indians’ Spring Training facility. Francona said Civale would throw about 15 pitches, sit as if he’s waiting between innings and then go throw another 15-18 pitches. Francona said the plan was for McKenzie -- who is easing his way into camp after missing all of 2019 with upper back and lat strains -- to also pitch in between Civale’s simulated frames.
The Indians have split-squad games again Sunday. Shane Bieber will get the start at home against the D-backs at Goodyear Ballpark at 3:05 p.m. ET while Adam Plutko will get the ball against the A’s in Las Vegas at 4:05 p.m. ET. Righty Zac Gallen will start against Bieber and lefty Jesus Luzardo will get the nod against Plutko.
Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.